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Fixed fee reduction and RTA Portal claims

Simon Gibbs discusses the Ministry of Justice’s proposal to significantly 
reduce fixed fees that apply to RTA Portal claims

4 January 2013

Claimant representatives have understandably expressed concerns as to the reasonableness of the new proposed fees. Karl Tonks, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, recently wrote: “The consultation is proceeding on a false premise that the incoming ban on referral fees will result in a saving from the [current] fixed fee. But referral fees were never included in the original fee negotiations and many firms do not even pay them.”

This is one of those interesting half-truths that require a little more light to be thrown on them to achieve a full picture.

It is no doubt correct that when the negotiations over the current fixed fees were ongoing there was no additional amount included specifically referable to the payment of referral fees. Instead, the fees were calculated based on an assumed average amount of time necessary to handle such claims multiplied by guideline hourly rates (GHRs) for the appropriate level of ?fee earner.

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